Nullindate reisikirjad: minu-vaated maailmale / Travelogues of the 2000s: Views of the Self about the World
In the foreground of the literary landscape in the 2000s is the perceiving and experiencing (and writing) subject; each of them could make a book and each of them could write a book, as seen by the boom of biographies of all kinds. Writing and publishing books has been democratised. Another popular area is travel writing, where a subjective perception of the world and a sense of place dominate as well. This is evident in the titles of Petrone Print’s My World-series. On the basis of this series, the article examines the characteristic trends and topics of travel writing in the 2000s.
The My World travelogues are based on non-touristic experience, written by people who have stayed put in one place or another for a relatively long period. The authors know the local life and customs inside out, having become almost natives. Tourist sights are hardly described, and the focus is on the other country through the writer’s world of emotions and thoughts. The authors of the My World-series create sights for themselves, and ignore the usual routes offered by guidebooks. Besides helping the reader to get to know and experience another country, the books also pay attention to journeys inside the writers themselves. In most cases, the books offer a double journey: in the host country and within the author. In addition to a country with its culture and the writer's internal journeys, significant aspects of the travelogues are generalisations and truths that are based on personal experience and observations. The reader gets an overview of the contemporary world, a country, and its rules and peculiarities. These books can be read as separate guidebooks, while at the same time they present a subjective picture in the globalised world of a place that might be known to the reader, but which acquires new colours through the writer’s personality and offers the joy of discovery.